YOU ARE THE MOST SENIOR FEMALE (IN RANK) PRACTISING AT THE WHITE ROSE AIKIKAI WITH OVER TWENTY FIVE YEARS CONTINUOUS PRACTISE HOW HAS YOUR AIKIDO CHANGED OVER THE YEARS AND DO YOU FEEL AIKIDO IS TAUGHT DIFFERENTLY FROM WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED.
My aikido has changed over the years by becoming much more relaxed . Going back in the early days of training we seemed to use more strength and aggression.over the years you start to relax and you develop your centre this comes with a lot of practise. The more relaxed you are with the techniques the more powerful you are over uke.
Aikido is not as strict today as it was when I first started . Nobody could speak on the mat as much . We used to get a visiting Japanese sensei over to teach quite regularly he was very strict. The gradings were different as well , whoever was grading had to receive the techniques using one uke. Today aikido training is more relaxed we still train hard but you also need a good atmosphere and a sense of humour. There is no point in tra! ining if it is serious all the time you need to enjoy it as well.
DO YOU FEEL YOU GET THE SAME RESPECT FROM THE STUDENTS WHEN TEACHING AS THE MALE INSTRUCTORS .
Regarding getting the same respect from students when teaching as the male instructors, Sometimes when we have been on courses and I have been asked to teach for half an hour Iget some funny looks off students from different clubs, as though to say what does she think she is doing but I just get on with it. I tend to get more problems from some women than men when I teach some women do not like to be taught by another woman.
When I sometimes teach at the friday class , I get quite a lot of tsick but it is all in good spirits, I have to tell sensei
mick to shut up sometimes when I am teaching , he keeps butting in well thats husbands for you ( ha ,ha )
DO YOU FEEL AIKIDO IS REALLY EFFECTIVE AGAINST A LARGER STRONGER OPPONENT .
Aikido has nothing to do with strength as long as you divert that persons energy no matter how big they ar! e and to break their centre so they become weaker, and if one technique does not work there is always something else you can do. Like stick your finger in their eye.
BOTH YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND MICK CAME TO THE WHITE ROSE FROM B.A.F. MANY YEARS AGO WERE YOU HAPPY TO CHANGE ASSOCIATIONS OR DID YOU COME BECAUSE YOUR HUSBAND DID AND ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR CHOICE .
Mick and myself were happy to change from the BAF to the white rose years ago because the BAF were getting too political, a lot of arguments in meetings and people teaching the class who did not have the knowledge and experience, also there was not a good atmosphere. We are both very happy with our decision to come to the white rose, we respect Shane and his teachings. Shane is the head of the association and that suits us both fine. Sensei Riley is our favorite sensei (creep , creep).
DID THE AIKIDO DIFFER MUCH AT THE WHITE ROSE FROM THE B.A.F?
The aikido is much better at the white rose than the BAF the training is more versatile with lots of variations in the techniques. The BAF always stuck to the same techniques.
DO YOU THINK THERE SHOULD BE MORE FEMALES PRACTICING AIKIDO AND if so WHY ?
Do I think there should be more females practising aikido?
When I first started aikido there were more females training than there is today. The seventies and eighties was a boom time for martial arts and a few woman stuck to it. We were made tough in them days. Martial arts is good for woman because it can give you more awareness on the streets your senses are more alert. A lot of woman have tried aikido and other martial arts but some do not like the odd knock and fall so it puts them off, That goes for some men I have trained with in the past.(Ha Ha )
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO DO AIKIDO ?
I decided to do aikido back in the late seventies because at the time the yorkshire ripper was about, Some innocent woman were being attacked, so my freinds and I decided to take up a martial art. we went to the richard dunn’s sport centre and the receptionist mentioned that there was a club that trained monday and thursday night and it was called aikido, we went down to watch and that made my mind up.
WHY DO YOU THINK THERE ARE NOT MANY WOMEN DO AIKIDO ESPECIALLY IN OUR CLUB ?
This question is simular to question 6. I do not really think about how many women train. I go training because thats what I enjoy. Everybody is different, people have other interests. A lot of woman might think martial arts is too physical that also goes for some men as well.
DO YOU THINK IT IMPORTANT TO TRY TO GAIN MORE WOMEN MEMBERS AND HOW WOULD YOU DO IT ?
Do I think it could be important to try gain more women members?
I do not see it as being important personally, there are quite a few women from different clubs who travel up to the white rose club for courses. Martial arts is not for everybody.
To try and gain more women members we just have to keep advertising in the sport centres maybe display posters showing women demonstrating aikido .I have also done a couple of demonstrations at keep fit clubs.
WHEN YOU STARTED OUT AS A BEGINNER WHAT WAS THE REACTION OF THE OTHER MEMBERS AND HOW THEY TREATED YOU ?
When I started as a beginner the reactions of the other members were very good everybody respected each other just like at the white rose club. I was treated very well by one particular member I married him, ( Sensei budda mick ) Ha Ha. He showed me the light.
Martial Arts does not make you invincible,it just gives you an edge, This applies to men as well.
I would like to thank Janet Hajdysz for taking the time to answer all your questions and giving us some inside knowledge of her journey through Aikido.
THANK YOU JANET.